We can not cure HIV, but antiretroviral therapy has extended life for HIV positive clients. The goal of antiviral therapy is to lower the viral count in the bloodstream. There are three major classes of drugs. Despite this progress, these drugs typically lose their effectiveness after a period of treatment because the virus mutates and becomes resistant, much like bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Cross-resistance, or the virus' ability to mutate to be resistant to multiple drugs of the same class, is also a potential problem.

Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors

Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors

Protease Inhibitors

Effects on Antiviral Therapy on Viral Burder

This information must all be taken with a grain of salt. It is possible that semen and vaginal secretions may be special circumstance which responds differently to treatment. Studies are also contradictory, as viral load may sometimes be detected in semen, even when it can't be detected in the blood and vice versa.

The University of Arizona
Biology 181 Honors
Group 9
Last updated: December 5, 2002
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